Don’t Worry, Get Botox
Sunday Review: March 21, 2014 – Gray Matter by Richard A. Friedman
FEELING down? Smile. Cheer up. Put on a happy face. No doubt you’ve dismissed these bromides from friends and loved ones because everyone knows that you can’t feel better just by aping a happy look.
In a study forthcoming in the Journal of Psychiatric Research, Eric Finzi, a cosmetic dermatologist, and Norman Rosenthal, a professor of psychiatry at Georgetown Medical School, randomly assigned a group of 74 patients with major depression to receive either Botox or saline injections in the forehead muscles whose contraction makes it possible to frown. Six weeks after the injection, 52 percent of the subjects who got Botox showed relief from depression, compared with only 15 percent of those who received the saline placebo.